Mount Pleasant Mural Festival: Oksana Gaidasheva

My friend and talented artist (and past VANISREAL interview subject) Emily Gray (@emilygrayart) started working on a mural in the alley behind my apartment at Main and E Broadway today, so I decided to go down this afternoon and take a look at what she was creating. Emily and her friend Oksana Gaidasheva (@oksana_gaidasheva) went with the theme of drawing different animals (like mice and crows) that would be in an alley on bikes: AWESOME!


Emily Gray and Oksana Gaidasheva: Visit these ladies while they showcase their mural at Main and E Broadway next Saturday August 20th for the Mount Pleasant Mural Festival!

At 1:30 these inspirational women were just starting to sketch their mural, and when I got back home at 5 the mural had been transformed into a work of art. These ladies work fast! Talk about dedication to their craft.


Please check out Oksana’s interview:

If you’ve ever felt like a freak or an outsider, what helped you through it?

“Yes, I have felt like a freak and an outsider. I’m an immigrant, but that really wasn’t the thing for me ‘cause I was in an immigrant part of Vancouver in Burnaby.

My big thing was I am quite tall and large and loud and I felt like an outsider from the general population of small skinny girls because of my general height.

And what helped me through that was discovering that there is a thriving industry in plus-size modeling, so it’s women that are like a healthy size, healthy lifestyle, kind of revolutionary paradigm thought—women around the world from all over the globe being hired by top modeling agencies.

I guess it’s my vanity too being able to compare myself to women that are working in the fashion industry. Saying, hey, they’re fashion models too, and they’re like killing it in the professional arena.

So that helped me, like stalking them on Instagram and following their personal lives has helped me feel comfortable and feminine in myself. All those plus size models like they’re out there, you know.”

I totally agree with Oksana about the fact that it’s easier to gain confidence in yourself when you can see yourself in those who are valued as attractive and successful! As much as people hate the Kardashians, the major reason why I watch their show religiously is because of their bodies…I’ve struggled with accepting my wide hips and thick thighs, and seeing the women in the Kardashian family (particularly Kim because she’s 5’2 and I’m 5’1 and it gives me hope that my hips are hot not unattractive looking) make me accept myself a little more (though I don’t want my face to be all Botoxed-up or anything like that).



  1. Hii VanIsReal : ))i! Thank you for the awesome quality interview and questioning!!! I find it elucidating to see myself talk on camera! I totally LOVE that pic you got of me by the coyote! much heart!! (Emily had to show it to me on her iPhone cause my android wont do isnta) I’ll sign in later off my ipad and like the hell out of your post!!
    back to painting tomorrow see you!!!!

    1. Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed the picture I put up…you gave me lots of fabulous poses to choose from. All of the work you have up on your Instagram is incredible…thanks again for letting me interview you. Keep up the good work!

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